how to handle a long (100') shallow (15') front yard?

15 years ago

Our house is very close to the street -- about 15 feet from the edge of the sidewalk to the outside wall of the house in front. However, the yard is wide: 100 feet from end to end. As you can see from the pictures, there is more yard on the sides, but I've been struggling for years with how to make the front yard look more interesting and how to break it up. The house faces east , so the sun starts at the end of the house by our neighbor (and the paperbark maple) and moves across the front during the morning and early afternoon. Big oaks behind the house and in the yard to the south mean the southern end of the yard doesn't get sun past about 2 pm.

I don't like formal, although I like things a little more tidy than pure cottage garden. The less grass (i.e. turf) the better; my goal is to get rid of it all.

A brief description -- the tree at the farthest north edge of the yard, hardly visible without its leaves, is a paperbark maple. I'm reasonably happy with that end of the yard. It's from about the north (right) edge of the house on that I'm stuck. You can see the star magnolia in bloom, and next to it the silly little mugo pine that I just stuck there, always intending to move it. The front bed behind the magnolia is 4-5' deep and has red roses, alchemilla, heuchera, hostas, helleborus foetidus, and some totally out of control anemonme japonica. To the other side of the front door the bed is a little less deep, and has yellow and white roses, tall daylilies, geraniums, coreopsis zagreb... At the far south end of the front yard is my vegetable garden, which gets closer and closer to the house every year as the neighbors' trees shade it more.

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